Officers arrest 9 during human trafficking sting in SLO County

March 1, 2022

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

Amid a statewide anti-human trafficking operation last month, authorities arrested nine individuals in San Luis Obispo County for sex offenses.

Operation Reclaim and Rebuild took place Feb. 6 through Feb. 12, with more than 80 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and task forces participating. The efforts of the San Luis Obispo County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force led to the arrest of nine suspects over a three-day span and disrupted criminal trafficking networks, according to the SLO County District Attorney’s Office.

Authorities arrested William Thomas Feland, 65; Luis Gonzalez, 44; and Robert Walls, Jr., 44, for contacting a 13-year-old minor with intent to commit a sexual offense. Joseph Ricardo Armas, 32; Alex Alejandro Lopez, 30; Neil James Miller, 35; and James Darren Wormley, 46, were arrested for solicitation of prostitution.

Officers also arrested two suspects for pimping. Their cases remain active investigations.

“The demand for prostitution creates a lucrative cash market that traffickers fill with victims – many who are children – even in our beautiful community,” District Attorney Dan Dow said in a statement. “Our local anti-human trafficking enforcement operations are designed to reduce the demand for commercial sex that leads to exploitation of minors and adults every day in our community. A warning to those thinking about purchasing sex: please stop and consider that one million kids are trafficked for sex each year and you are making it more widespread.”


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shelworth

I was thinking that maybe it was time to legalize it, regulate it, tax it, but just because you legalize something doesn’t necessarily mean you take the crime out of it, I thought legalizing Marijuana would work but so far….


Florian75

Why would you want to legalize slavery? It wasn’t such a good idea the last time we let a certain political party think it was appropriate. Believing illicit drugs should be legal makes no sense either.


ghostpepper

decriminalizing prostitution dosen’t mean also allowing slavery. if consensual sex work was not a crime, forcing someone into it still would be; abducting people still would be; child abuse still would be; etc.